Andrea Lessing made an incredible discovery while sifting through a pile of donations at the Goodwill in Norman, Oklahoma. The recently-hired employee found $42,000 in crisp bills wrapped inside two sweaters. it was the largest cash find in Oklahoma Goodwill history.
Initially, Lessing thought that it was a stack of books, but upon further inspection, it was a large bundle of cash.
"I never expected anything like this to happen to me of all people," she remarked in a statement to Fox News. "To me, it was just another normal day at work. I was in the back sorting. I never expected to come across $42,000."
For some, stumbling on such a massive pile of may have put them in a moral quandary, but not Lessing, who didn't hesitate to turn the cash over to her supervisor. She later said that she did so because she has a daughter and believes in karma. "I believe that if you do something good, something good will come back to you," she told KFOR.
"I made the right decision, and I did the right thing," Lessing told Fox News.
Goodwill was able to track down the owner of the money because of some identifying documents that came with the donation. The donor immediately told Lessing's Goodwill supervisor to give her $1,000 of the money as a reward.
"I just want to say thank you because he was a blessing," Lessing said of the donor who rewarded her. "I thought I blessed him, but he turned right around and blessed me. He restored my faith that there are really good people out there even through this pandemic. We don't know their situation so it's better to just be kind."
Goodwill V.P. Frank Holland handing Lessing her reward.
Goodwill released a statement cheering on Lessing as someone who exemplifies the company's values.
"The actions of Andrea and our Goodwill organization are real-life examples of one of our core values: integrity," Jim Priest, JD, the CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma, said in a statement.
"Andrea showed integrity when she turned in the money and Goodwill showed its integrity as an organization by tracing the donors so we could return the money," the statement continued. "Andrea could have kept the money and Goodwill could have kept the money, but integrity is doing the right thing and it's a core value we strive to live out every day."
Given all of the strange things that are sometimes donated to the store, Lessing wasn't all that surprised that she stumbled upon the bundle of money. "Just from working here for about a month and a half, I've noticed that there are a lot of weird things that have been donated," she said.
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